Ibogaine for Opiate Withdrawal Symptoms

Role of the Metabolite Noribogaine

J. Pablo, C.A. Kovera and D.C. Mash.

Department of Neurology, University of Miami School of Medicine,
Florida 33136, USA.


Ibogaine (IBO), a naturally occurring indole alkaloid derived from the roots of the rainforest shrub Tabernanthe iboga, has been demonstrated to have efficacy for the blockade of opiate withdrawal. However, it is likely that IBO’s purported efficacy may be due to the long-acting metabolite because IBO has a rapid clearance from the blood. IBO is O-demethylated to noribogaine (norIBO) in both animals and humans. We have obtained observational data on the effects of a single-dose administration of IBO on mood, craving and withdrawal symptoms in treatment-seeking patients with chemical dependency on opiates (N = 32). We observed significant reductions in negative health symptoms, as well as improvements in mood and energy/vigor for the post-ibogaine time points. Mean scores from category scales of the HCQ-NOW29 showed significantly reduced craving for opiates post-treatment. Physician-rated assessments and subjective reports of opioid-dependent patient volunteers demonstrated alleviation of withdrawal symptoms during detoxification with IBO. While these observations suggest treatment efficacy, the precise mechanism(s) accounting for these effects remain uncertain. Radioligand binding screens demonstrated that norIBO has affinity for the 5-HT transporter (SERT) and m- and k-opioid receptors. norIBO elevates extracellular levels of 5-HT and acts as a full m-agonist. Kinetic analysis of [3H]norIBO gave t1/2 values for biphasic dissociation with rapid and slow rate constants of 9.0 + 0.4 min and 3123.4 + 21.1 min (~2.2 days), respectively. Kinetic assays performed in the presence and absence of SERT occluders resulted in the loss of the fast dissociation rate, suggesting pseudoirreversible binding at a second target. The slow-rate of dissociation was blocked by the addition of an m-agonist. The multitarget actions of norIBO may explain how a single dose of IBO in humans blocks the opiate withdrawal syndrome.

Ibogaine for opiate use disorder: What you need to know

One of most people’s biggest concerns when it comes to seeking treatment for opiate addiction is surviving withdrawal. If you or a loved one has been using opiates for some time, this fear is understandable. Unfortunately, withdrawal from opiates can be very intense, and it is undoubtedly the most difficult part of pursing treatment for people in their early days of recovery.

At Clear Sky Ibogaine, we are very aware of this fear and we know how difficult and painful withdrawal from opiates can be. When a new client comes to our center in Cancun, we do everything that we can to support him or her during this challenging process. Ibogaine itself can help immensely with withdrawal; many people report little to no painful withdrawal symptoms after their ibogaine experience. However, our clients do not ingest ibogaine immediately upon arrival, so take steps to make each person comfortable during the days between their arrival and their first treatment.

Read on to learn more.

How Does Ibogaine Treatment for Opiate Withdrawal Start?

Ibogaine is amazing. At our treatment center, we see people use ibogaine to overcome their addictions on a very regular basis, and many have long term success. When nothing else worked, ibogaine often does, and we never cease to be impressed by the things this incredible natural substance can help people accomplish. 

For the most part, our clients visit us for a week. There are pre-care and post-care tasks and communications, but clients come to Cancun to spend a week at our facility. During that time, they receive several ibogaine treatments under medical supervision. During their ibogaine experiences, they are able to explore their own minds to find the root causes of their addictions and they can confront them, understand them, and in many cases, overcome them, too.

However, the first ibogaine treatment doesn’t happen until their fourth day in Cancun. Of course, they cannot bring their addictive substance to Mexico, and they cannot use in our facility. As a result, during the admissions, testing, and preparation portion of their stay, we understand that they might begin to feel withdrawal symptoms. To combat this, we will administer morphine to keep them comfortable; no one will suffer withdrawal on our property.

Once a client begins his or her multi-day ibogaine treatment, there will no longer be a need for morphine. Ibogaine will take it from there.

Ibogaine for Opiate Withdrawal

How does ibogaine block withdrawal? One thing about ibogaine that is not yet completely understood is the way and fact that it works to decrease symptoms of opioid withdrawal. In both clinical studies and based on anecdotal evidence offered by addicts who self-administered ibogaine in its early days several decades ago, it seems that ibogaine helps to stop painful feelings of withdrawal. This function is separate from yet works in concert with the psychoactive, hallucinogenic experience of ibogaine that also serves to help people overcome addiction with this plant medicine. Does ibogaine stop withdrawal? No, but it sure seems to mask its effects.

Many believe that low-dose ibogaine therapy for opiate withdrawal may, in the future, help many people to overcome addictions without the need for a full ibogaine treatment. For now, though, a full ibogaine treatment seems to be the most effective method.

Ibogaine Withdrawal?

Individuals who are considering ibogaine treatment may be concerned that after the treatment that they will be addicted to something else – ibogaine. After all, there are some replacement therapies for opioid addiction that then become addictions themselves. 

You’ll be glad to hear that ibogaine withdrawal is not something that you will have to worry about. Although you will likely be tired and may have trouble sleeping the night of your treatment, these are mild issues that will fade quickly. Any additional discomfort can and will be relieved by small, ibogaine booster doses that you’ll receive in your final days at the facility. You will not experience any withdrawal from ibogaine itself.

Ibogaine Is The Best Choice for Withdrawal-Free Opioid Treatment

As you can see, ibogaine is a great choice for anyone who wants to break free from addiction to opioids without suffering from withdrawal in the process. At Clear Sky Ibogaine, we want to help you overcome your addiction to opioids and we can help you do it with as little pain and discomfort as possible. 

We are here to help you get started on your own path to recovery from any type of addiction.  Our ibogaine detox treatment is innovative and effective, and our staff is standing by to answer any questions you may have about our staff, our facility, or the process.  Please give us a call today.  We can’t wait to hear from you.